This magician had mixed feelings when he figured out how a colleague performed an illusion. “It was no less amazing to me when I knew how it was done, but it was disappointing.” The austere joy of knowledge or the sensuous pleasure of mystery: a magician’s dilemma. Produced with Lori Schwarz for KGB Bar’s Red …
Not to emphasize quantity over quality—he excels at both—but it is impressive that he and his firm, ODA, have completed more than 60 buildings in just over a decade. Do they sleep? Among his New York projects, this apartment building in my neighborhood, which I’m sure is how they refer to it. Music: Liz Hanley. …
In addition to his work for corporations (Nike, Apple) and non-profits, this graphic designer documents everything, not just as a way to record an event but as an act of meditation: “Documenting allows me to slow it down and to sit in that space a little longer.” Produced with the Type Directors Club, part of …
Speaking at—and of—Gansevoort Plaza, a public space he designed, landscape architect Ken Smith considers the implications of the past as well as the needs of the present: “Land has memory. It’s really a crime to erase the memory of a place.” Produced with Meatpacking-District BID.
This composer, mastermind of “Piano Puzzlers,” feared premature death: “Schubert died at 31, Mozart died at 35, Gershwin died at 39. I thought because my father died when he was 55, that I would, too.” A conversation at Steinway Hall on fathers, sons, and the neuroscience of creativity.
As young actor—he’s now 97— he studied with Stella Adler along with Marlon Brando, (“He was a great actor but an impossible person.”) a saga he recounts in The Star Dressing Room. One of them became the head of Warner Brothers Television, the other became Marlon Brando. Photo courtesy of John Ekizian.
This Grammy-nominated musician, celebrated for his work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Rhiannon Giddens, sums himself up: “I play the banjo, talk about Black people, and really love Star Trek.” Hubby in a nutshell at Terra Blues.
Her book The Quickening recounts an Antarctic expedition to Thwaites Glacier, which holds enough ice to raise sea levels three feet. “It’s this otherworldly being that has the power to shape us.” But, she urges, please avoid its nickname, “Doomsday Glacier.” That’s just mean. Produced with Orion magazine.
Lifelong friends, these writers grew up on the same block. His newest book is Brooklyn Crime Novel; she is developing the Imitation of Life musical with John Legend and Liesl Tommy. Presented with The New York Women’s Foundation: advancing economic, gender, and racial justice for women and families.
A friend of his wife gave his novel Empire Falls to Ivanka Trump. Her response: “This is a book about poor people. Why would I want to read a book about poor people?” Some bad reviews are better than good reviews. Presented with the Center for Fiction and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.
This poet, president of the Mellon foundation, quotes June Jordan on the question activists should ask: “Where is the love? What are we moving toward, not just what are we fighting against?” Poetry, politics, and why your Thanksgiving dinner should include lasagna. Made Eritrean style.
The president and CEO of the Hudson River Park Trust offers a too-modest explanation of its popularity: “I think there’s a universal urge that people have to see and connect with water.” Melville writes something similar at the start of Moby-Dick. Different ending, though.
The founder of Paylocity, he is a partner in the Wayfarer Foundation, whose mission is to “advance humankind spiritually toward a future peaceful world civilization.” Dauntingly ambitious. My mission this weekend is to clean my oven, and I won’t. Presented with the New York Baha’i Center.